By: Hawk Ripjaw –
The 15:17 to Paris
It’s been done before, but Clint Eastwood’s latest is one of the weirdest examples of making a movie about true events and getting the people involved in the events to play themselves in the movie. Especially for this, it seems very odd: these guys stopped a fucking terrorist attack. That is a traumatic, life-changing thing to happen. And now they’ve been asked to reenact this traumatic, life-changing thing in a movie so people can remind themselves why they have an American Flag hanging outside their front door. With with respect to Eastwood, he did ensure that it wouldn’t be a big deal for these guys to relive the event. However, casting the non-actors in his movie, coupled with his hands-off, one-take directing style, is almost certainly a recipe for character moments that are not compelling. And while the actual event is probably going to be a great moment in the movie, it only lasted a few minutes so there’s an entire feature’s worth of buildup we have to sit through beforehand. No, thank you.
It’s okay, we don’t have to automatically love a movie just because Eastwood directed it.
Fifty Shades Freed
Freed, indeed. Yeah, that’s a good tagline for this this movie, and my own release from this franchise. Felix Felicis and I have been co-reviewing this movie since the first one released, and I’ve had to endure the first two films terrified and alone on opening weekend in a large auditorium filled with ravenous genuine fans of the series. Had I not been able to share my pain with a co-writer, I think I might have gone crazy.
But there is something about the new 50 Shades movie that just looks even worse than its two predecessors. It looks less wacky. It looks more boring. It looks both more stupid and less stupid, and that shouldn’t even fucking be possible. In this third and final installment (until E.L. James spins it off into a retelling from Grey’s perspective or a sequel about their stupid kids or something), these two awful human beings are married. That means Grey’s outrageous toxicity and Ana’s helpless codependence are on full display, 24/7, and they both get to absorb parts of the others’ personality. That sounds like so much fun, right?
And does anyone else find something kind of horrifying in the delivery of the opening “Good morning wife/good morning husband” exchange in the trailer?
There is nothing about either one of these horrible characters that is even remotely interesting, and I implore anyone to explain the appeal besides “It’s romantic” or “It’s passionate.” Jeffrey Dahmer was passionate about eating people, that doesn’t make it glamorous.
Earlier in January, the US was gifted with the wonderful, wonderful Paddington 2. CGI characters in live-action settings is almost a guaranteed recipe for a critical lashing and decent box office numbers until people start to catch on to your bullshit. Paddington 2 was a complete rejection of every bottom-floor, irritating, lowest-common-denominator children’s movie trash that’s making everyone so stupid. It might well be on my list of favorite films of 2018 when that time rolls around. So why not return to family film garbage normalcy with a vengeance via Peter Rabbit?
This looks awful. The opening seconds of the trailer gave me flashbacks to that fuckoff Hop movie with Russell Brand from a few years ago, for some reason. What is it with movies about animals tormenting humans? Maybe Domhnall Gleeson’s character just wants to grow a garden without animals plundering it. Maybe that’s his only way of life. Maybe rabbits killed his family and he just wants to be left alone. Maybe he could work out some sort of peaceful economy with the animals in which he could give them vegetables in exchange for whatever useful human things CGI animals are capable of in this universe.
I suppose it’s worth mentioning that the initial trailers for the Paddington movies looked a bit dire and the movie turned out being great, so it would do well to never give up hope. On the other hand, Paddington’s greatness amongst similar films is like playing Russian Roulette with 5 rounds in the cylinder and you just got lucky enough to pull the trigger on the empty slot. Peter Rabbit is a bullet.